The Minster of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi has called on the population to take much interest in conserving wetlands to realise their environmental benefits.
He made the call yesterday while officiating at the celebrations to mark the world wetlands day.
“We want to call upon Rwandans to protect the environment and understand the benefits,” he said.
However, he said that despite improvement in the conservation following the formation of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) some sections of the population continue to encroach on the wetlands.
“With 90 percent of the population depending on agriculture and using rudimentary methods of farming, in the dry season crop growing is shifted from the slopes to wet lands,” Kamanzi revealed.
Kamanzi stated that due to indiscriminate activities some wetlands have been phased out.
Since the inception of REMA, 22 wetlands have been successfully designated.
Citing a recent flood in Nyandungu in Remera, he warned that the consistent floods across the country mean that wetlands need to be better protected.
“Last week there was more rain that was to have fallen in the previous months. It rained for 3 hours. It means we have to be responsible for wetlands. It is to their (inhabitants) benefit when there are floods and it means losses,” he said.